In an op-ed appearing in the “Pittsburgh Post-Dispatch” this month, they report that:

“Federal economists estimate that 2 million jobs go unfilled today as a result of training, skills and education gaps. . . .
In a report submitted last year by the Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council it was noted that the number of new workers entering manufacturing, coupled with the manufacturing sector’s growth, has left a staggering gap of available skilled workers.
Simply put, every decent-paying job today takes more skill and more education, but too many Americans aren’t ready.
Gone are the days when all that was required of a worker to succeed was to get his or her foot in the door and work hard. Today, while hard work is still important, postsecondary education is required and frequent retraining is necessary to staying current in one’s field. In fact, it’s estimated that 1.5 million job vacancies in the country consist of jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree.”

As the United States continues an uphill battle to reform its education system in an attempt to successfully compete in the global economy, many educators are seeking new and innovative programs in order to better prepare tomorrow’s students while, at the same time, upgrading the skills of today’s workforce. Rapidly changing learning technologies are accelerating their efforts — and, often, our community colleges are leading the way.

Many small to medium-sized industries lack satisfactory training programs for their employees. Unfortunately, the cost of implementing traditional training programs often prevents these smaller businesses from investing in the modern multi-sensory training programs, so necessary to the learning culture of most of our citizenry. Therefore, these smaller industries are readily turning to their local community colleges to fill this learning gap.

Community colleges are uniquely positioned to fill their local area multi-sensory training needs as they can spread the cost over a broad base by contracting with multiple business users instead of concentrating the costs on the back of a single company. The idea is to make the local community college a “one-stop shopping” training market where small and medium-sized companies can come and receive the training advice and support they so desperately need.

By inviting the local industries to work with the local community college in designing specific training paths for their employees, utilizing the newest and most innovative training technologies, a “win/win” learning scenario is created.

There are other paths that can lead to America’s need for more and better education — but our community colleges offer a particularly bright path to success.

More on Thursday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder
ITC Learning (Tuesdays & Thursdays)